If your 2017 goals include growing your customer base or building a strong pipeline, there is another goal you should consider adding to this year’s list: customer retention.

Many salespeople are guilty of “hit-and-run” selling. They get the order and then disappear until the renewal is due or they want to upgrade the customer with additional products or services. This pattern can be especially easy to fall into if you are focusing on new business in an attempt to hit better numbers than ever before.

Successful sales professionals understand a fundamental, yet basic, concept: the cost of keeping a customer is far less than the cost of bringing in a new customer. Furthermore, increasing customer retention can actually grow revenue. According to Bain and Company, just a 5% increase in customer retention can raise profitability anywhere from 25% to 75% depending on the industry.

Staying in touch with everyone impacted in the purchase decision throughout the lifecycle of the relationship is extremely important in growing retention. Reinforcing, communicating and reviewing the purchase decision throughout the relationship will not only help to solidify the business relationship over time, it will increase the likelihood that they will retain their customers and grow revenue.

Make it a point to check in on a regular basis to continue to earn your customers’ trust and build your credibility with them. This helps make the buying process a lower-risk proposition and sets you up for a successful second or third sale.

Clearly, customer retention compounds over time, resulting in long-term profit and growth that shouldn’t be underestimated. So, while you’re mapping out your action plan for hitting your 2017 goals, be sure to include some strategies for keeping in touch with current customers.

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Carlos Nouche
Carlos has 25 years of experience in the enterprise software industry, including sales, service, business development, creation of partner alliances and business operations. He’s advised companies including Telus, TheLadders, Interwoven, Avaya, VMware, and Stericycle.